Updated: 2:30 p.m.
VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers have added some insurance in their bottom six.
Ahead of Monday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, the Flyers acquired 35-year-old forward Nate Thompson from the Canadiens in exchange for a 2021 fifth-round draft pick.
Shortly after, the Flyers made another move by bringing in forward Derek Grant (see story).
Thompson, who has played for seven teams over 13 years in the NHL, put up 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 63 games for Montreal. The veteran has a $1 million cap hit and can become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, so he fit the Flyers' plans in that regard.
Thompson will give the Flyers an experienced center the team felt it needed over its final 20 games. While the youth has played well for the Flyers, Joel Farabee and Connor Bunnaman were loaned to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley following Monday's practice. Farabee might not be down for long, while Morgan Frost and Nolan Patrick are also in the picture at center (see story).
The Flyers, though, liked Thompson's fourth-line makeup and penalty kill ability. Thompson also has 62 playoff games on his résumé.
Chuck Fletcher said Flyers deserved additions but for players to not lose roles. Didn’t want to overhaul team. pic.twitter.com/gyRpOb3A3X— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) February 24, 2020
"When a guy comes in, steps in, helps his new teammates win, he’s usually really accepted real quickly and guys are happy to see him," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said. "I think with the two guys that we’ve added, Thompson’s clearly a fourth-line centerman with some experience and he’s a good penalty killer. That’s an area where we wanted help and we’ll have to figure out where Grant fits in here. For our forward group, I think this is positive."
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Thompson is used to seeing limited ice time and key shorthanded minutes.
"I have been around long enough," Thompson said Monday on a conference call. "My role has never really changed. ... I’m just going to come in and play my role and do what I have to do to help this team win and just have fun doing it. It sounds like a great group of guys here. I’m excited to be a part of it and I can’t wait to get going.
"It’s exciting. To have this chance to play on a really good team that has had a really good year all year. I’m just excited. I feel like I am just going to relish the opportunity."
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